Primness and Feminine Outlook

Title page of the 1909 edition of Emma, illustrated by C. E. Brock.

 
 

“I planned the match from that hour” ~ Volume I, Chapter I

 
 

“As she was so fond of it, it should be called her cow” ~ Volume I, Chapter IV

 
 

Frequently coming to look ~ Volume I, Chapter VI

 
 

He was very sure there must be a lady in the case ~ Volume I, Chapter VIII

 
 

“You and I will have a nice basin of gruel together” ~ Volume I, Chapter XII

 
 

She left the sofa ~ Volume I, Chapter XV

 
 

“Ma’am…do you hear what Miss Woodhouse is so obliging to say about Jane’s handwriting?” ~ Volume II, Chapter I

 
 

“He thought I had much better go round by Mr. Cole’s stables” ~ Volume II, Chapter III

 
 

He stopt…to look in ~ Volume II, Chapter VI

 
 

Very busy over parish business ~ Volume II, Chapter VIII

 
 

“I have the pleasure, madam, (to Mrs. Bates,) of restoring your spectacles, healed for the present.” ~ Volume II, Chapter X

 
 

“Ah! he is off. He never can bear to be thanked” ~ Volume II, Chapter X

 
 

What was to be done? ~ Volume II, Chapter XI

 
 

“Half an hour shut up with my housekeeper” ~ Volume II, Chapter XIV

 
 

“I see very few pearls in the room except mine” ~ Volume III, Chapter II

 
 

The terror…was then their own portion ~ Volume III, Chapter III

 
 

“I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I?” ~ Volume III, Chapter VII

 
 

“Jane Fairfax!–Good God! You are not serious?” ~ Volume III, Chapter X

 
 

Mr. Perry…with a disengaged hour to give her father ~ Volume III, Chapter XIII

 
 

“my dearest, most beloved Emma–tell me at once” ~ Volume III, Chapter XIII

 
 

“She absolutely refused to allow me” ~ Volume III, Chapter XIV

 
 

“He did not know what was come to his master lately” ~ Volume III, Chapter XVI

 
 

There was no longer a want of subject ~ Volume III, Chapter XVIII

 
 

Charles Edmund Brock (5 February 1870 – 28 February 1938) was a widely published English line artist and book illustrator, who signed his work C. E. Brock. He was the eldest of four artist brothers, including Henry Matthew Brock, also an illustrator. He studied art briefly under sculptor Henry Wiles.

He received his first book commission at the age of 20 in 1890. He became very successful, and illustrated books for authors such as Jonathan Swift, William Thackeray, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot. Brock also contributed pieces to several magazines such as The Quiver, The Strand, and Pearsons. He used the Cambridge college libraries for his “picture research.” Brock is best known for his line work, initially working in the tradition of Hugh Thomson, but he was also a skilled colourist.

He and his brothers maintained a Cambridge studio filled with various curios, antiques, furniture, and a costume collection. They owned a large collection of Regency-era costume prints and fashion plates, and had clothes specially made as examples for certain costumes.Using these, family members would model for each other.

Brock did not publish any more work after 1910.

The approach of C.E. Brock’s work varied with the sort of story he was illustrating. Some was refined and described as “sensitive to the delicate, teacup-and-saucer primness and feminine outlook of the early Victorian novelists,” while other work was “appreciative of the healthy, boisterous, thoroughly English characters” – soldiers, rustics, and “horsey types.” Other illustrations were grotesqueries drawn to amuse children looking at or reading storybooks.

Jane Austen’s Matchmaking Heroine

Illustrations by C.E. Brock

 
 

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The novel was first published in December 1815. Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.” Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people’s lives; and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray.

Emma Woodhouse is the first Austen heroine with no financial concerns, which, she declares to the naïve Miss Smith, is the reason that she has no inducement to marry. This is a great departure from Austen’s other novels, in which the quest for marriage and financial security are often important themes in the stories. Emma’s ample financial resources put her in a much more privileged position than the heroines of Austen’s earlier works, such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. Jane Fairfax’s prospects, in contrast, are bleak.

 
 

(Douglas McGrath, 1996)

 
 

Douglas McGrath “fell in love” with Jane Austen‘s 1815 novel Emma, while he was an undergraduate at Princeton University. He believed the book would make a great film, but it was not until a decade later that he was given a chance to work on the idea. After receiving an Academy Award nomination in 1995 for his work on Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen, 1994), McGrath decided to make the most of the moment and took his script idea for a film adaptation of Emma to Miramax Films. McGrath had initially wanted to write a modern version of the novel, set on the Upper East Side of New York City. Miramax’s co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein, liked the idea of a contemporary take on the novel. McGrath was unaware that Amy Heckerling‘s Clueless was already in production, until plans for Emma were well underway.

Although in general staying close to the plot of the book, the screenplay by Douglas McGrath enlivens the banter between the staid Mr. Knightley and the vivacious Emma, making the basis of their attraction more apparent.

Austen’s original novel deals with Emma’s false sense of class superiority, for which she is eventually chastised. In an essay from Jane Austen in Hollywood, Nora Nachumi writes that, due partly to Paltrow’s star status, Emma appears less humbled by the end of this film than she does in the novel.

 
 

(Diarmuid Lawrence, 1996)

 
 

This production of Emma stars Kate Beckinsale as the titular character, and also features Samantha Morton as Harriet Smith and Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley.  Previously, Andrew Davies was the screenwriter for the successful 1995 BBC TV serial Pride and Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Davies offered to adapt Emma for the BBC, but it had already commissioned Sandy Welch as screenwriter.

 
 

(Amy Heckerling, 1995)

 
 

This comedy film is loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma. Heckerling later described Silverstone as having “that Marilyn Monroe thing” as a “pretty, sweet blonde who, in spite of being the American ideal, people still really like.”